Just a 41-year-old mom of 2 in Northern California. My kids are Monkey Monkey(MM) and Drama Llama (DL). I am married to Monkey Hubby (MH).
We were a one-income family for 13 years. In late 2015 my spouse returned to work (minimum wage/part-time/seasonal). Something recent on his resume just buys us more options for the long run. The main benefit of this job is that he just works while the kids are in school. As always, we are saving 100% of his income.
We saved a lot while we were very young and also moved to a lower cost-of-living area, to make life much simpler. We still live in California though (in one of the most expensive regions of the U.S.). *Simple* and *inexpensive* is relative.
Likewise, we have never had debt aside from our mortgage.** My blog is a testament to how much simpler life is without debt; how we have that much more money to both save and enjoy!
**Caveat: I have no problem whatsoever with credit cards paid off monthly, or low-risk credit arbitrage (for example, 0%-interest debt while earning 5% on FDIC-insured cash). These are the kinds of debt we have had. Just not interested in high-interest debt, using debt to buy beyond means, and not interested in the hassle that comes with loans and payments. With age and means, the latter (hassle) is our biggest debt avoidance motivation.
**Ting Referral Code** https://z181d126bt4.ting.com
$25 off for you & $25 credit for me
In 2017 we are adding both our kids to our cell plan. This will add a whole $12 to our monthly cell bill, which was only $30/month for the two of us. Thank You TING!
BTW, Ting did also lower their rates, if you haven't checked the numbers recently.
[ ]$11,000 to IRAs 2018 (MAX)
...($6,090 @ 10/31/18)
...We save $900/month UPDATE: I diligently saved $900/month until I decided to quit my job in August.
For 2019, I have to abandon funding IRAs from *my* income.
I took a $11,000 pay cut, so this is the obvious solution. We will max out our IRAs regardless; will fund with other income or assets.
On the flip side, I am contributing 9% to a new 401k (my contribution + employer contribution). My contribution is a complete wash with reduced income taxes. So I am able to contribute 9% to retirement without coming up with more money. This is very reminiscent of our early one-income years when I had 10% work retirement contribution and we just funded IRAs with other monies. In both cases, we were contributing 20%+ of our gross income to retirement and didn't have much left for other savings/investment vehicles.
We will be "retirement heavy" until I get a raise and/or MH returns to work full-time.
[ ]$5,000 to savings
...($0 @ 10/31/18)
...$300/month, plus interest.
...Topping off with snowballs UPDATE: Savings was up about $8,000. I funneled everything into cash this year in prep for job transition. But I ended up putting all this money towards a car purchase. The net result is -0- change to savings.
[ ]$9,000 to investments
...($1,220 @ 10/31/18)
...$250/month, plus snowflakes
...Will also invest tax savings ($2,000) when contribute to Traditional IRAs
...Will top off goal with snowballs UPDATE: Due to job instability and substantial decrease in income, have only contributed 'snowflakes' to investments this year. Goal for 2019 will be to fund retirement instead. This is due to a combo of less income and more retirement space to utilize.
[ ]$3,000 to mortgage
...($0 @ 10/31/18)
...$3k per year to pay off in 20 years (from last refi); also ensures that we pay more principal than interest
...Funded with overtime UPDATE: Will probably abandon this goal for 2018 and future. I am no longer working OT (new job) and was never paid for the OT I worked in 2018.
Goal savings rate = 30% of gross
In addition, we save 100% of MH's (net) income ~ most goes to 401k/taxes.
--Note to self: Utilize library museum freebies
Current big picture goal:
$500,000 in retirement accounts by age 45.
NOTE: WE HAVE NEVER CONTRIBUTED LESS THAN 10% TO RETIREMENT. NO EXCEPTIONS.
If we can't achieve at least 10%, then something else has to give. I share because it's infinitely easier to save for retirement if you start early. Let the investments do the hard work for you.